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Mad Max (1979)

In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang.

Director:

George Miller

Writers:

James McCausland (screenplay), George Miller (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Max
Joanne Samuel ... Jessie
Hugh Keays-Byrne ... Toecutter
Steve Bisley ... Jim Goose
Tim Burns ... Johnny the Boy
Roger Ward ... Fifi
Lisa Aldenhoven ... Nurse
David Bracks ... Mudguts
Bertrand Cadart ... Clunk
David Cameron ... Underground Mechanic
Robina Chaffey ... Singer
Stephen Clark Stephen Clark ... Sarse
Mathew Constantine Mathew Constantine ... Toddler
Jerry Day ... Ziggy
Reg Evans ... Station Master
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Storyline

Taking place in a dystopian Australia in the near future, Mad Max tells the story of a highway patrolman cruising the squalid back roads that have become the breeding ground of criminals foraging for gasoline and scraps. When his wife and child meet a grisly end at the hands of a motorcycle gang, Max sets out across the barren wastelands in search of revenge. Written by Cole Matthews

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Film That Started It All See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM Studios (us) | Official Facebook | See more »

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 March 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mad Max See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$8,750,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$100,000,000, 31 December 1982
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

Mono | 4-Track Stereo (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the first Australian films shot with a widescreen anamorphic lens, though predated by The Cars That Ate Paris (1974). See more »

Goofs

When the Night Rider's stolen black MFP car is approaching Max's interceptor, the shot from the Night Rider's point of view shows Max's stationary car close to being in the middle of the road, but in the opposing shots from close to Max's car it is parked halfway off the left side of the road. See more »

Quotes

Starbuck: [watching Jessie get out of her car with Sprog] Look what's turned up for Sunday dinner.
Mudguts: Main course and dessert!
Starbuck: And my favorite kind... female!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Japanese DVD features the original Australian dialog and contains the original theatrical trailer. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Strange Brew (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Jessie's Theme
(uncredited)
Written by Nic Gazzana
Performed by Joanne Samuel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A quarter of a century on now (from the original filming) and still an icon of Aussie movie making!
10 January 2003 | by uds3See all my reviews

It was the very rawness and budgetary constraints of this little flick that made it what it was. A new kind of action hero in a new kind of world! Gibson's laughably underpaid (though unavoidably so) contribution cannot be underestimated. He imbued Max with more than the script actually merited. An attitude perhaps that struck a chord with many office-desk (wannabe) vigilantes. After all, Max takes control of his own life - is not cowed by authority. Max is everyman, the one inside us that few get the chance to let loose. He is part Jesus, part Che, part James Dean, all Australian yobbo! But this guy gets the job done - drop Max into Iraq next month and see how far Saddam Hussein gets trying to stock up on sarin!

Raw energy is what MAD MAX was all about! Distilled, tempered and inflamed by the time THE ROAD WARRIOR came around but at this juncture. a man on a mission and with the best tricked-up car since....well, THE CAR ! For those of you incidentally, totally mortified that his glorious black-hearted Interceptor was rendered dead-meat in MAD MAX 2, be comforted by the fact that it DOES in fact reside still in a museum in London (Why there and not Sydney I know not...perhaps for the same reason Australia still is not host to the cricket-ashes urn!) What chance of either's return when Greece can't even get the Elgin Marbles back?

Much has been made (and remembered) of the high-power car chases in this film, held by many in absolute reverence. In fact after the main cops vs The Nightrider work-out in the first few minutes of the flick, its pretty much all downhill in the action stakes - nothing subsequently in MAD MAX (1) comes near this brief sequence. This situation (with a way bigger budget) was inarguably reversed by the time THE ROAD WARRIOR came along. The stunts in THAT film have never been surpassed and remember this was without CGI fx.

MAD MAX has that indefinable 'something" the sequels didn't...perhaps just a raw innovation couldn't be duplicated - rather like ur first kiss. It might not have been the best, but it sure IS fondly remembered.


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